Dismal summer ends without a win
Brian Flannery at Pairc Uí Chaoimh
The curtain came down on Waterford’s disappointing championship season with a thirteen point reversal to an impressive Cork team at Pairc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday night last. While a disappointing result this was a marked improvement in performance by Waterford from the twenty point drubbing suffered six days previously on home soil to the All-Ireland champions Limerick.
Waterford’s Shane Bennett takes on the Cork defenders in the Munster Senior Hurling Championship at Pairc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday last.  Photo: George Hatchell
Manager Pauric Fanning rang the changes for this game with Billy Nolan, Shane McNulty, Darragh Lyons, Conor Gleeson, Shane Bennett, Brian O’Halloran and Peter Hogan all starting. Making way was Captain Noel Connors, Stephen O’Keeffe, Darragh Fives, Kevin Moran, Austin Gleeson, and Maurice Shanahan with the suspended Pauric Mahony also missing out.Cork on the other hand had a three week break going into this game following their second round defeat of Limerick and with everything to play for.
A very slick Cork side led throughout this game and found scores much easier to come by than their opponents. The opening half saw Cork convert two goal opportunities while Waterford spurned three good goal scoring chances. The Bennett brothers both managed to hit the net in the second period but on each occasion Cork had the wherewithal and composure to responded with a barrage of white flags to quell any bubbling white tide.
Waterford opted to play with the breeze in the opening half but suffered an early setback when Alan Cadogan placed Patrick Horgan for the opening goal after just five minutes. Waterford kept fighting and worked their way into the game. The excellent Callum Lyons, arguably the find of the season, hit Waterford’s opening score after six minutes. Upfront both Shane and Stephen Bennett were causing problems for the home defence. Shane Bennett won possession in the 12th minute and looked set to goal before being cynically hauled to the ground by Robert Downey. The foul earned Downey a yellow card but significantly only a point for Waterford from the resulting free, 1-3 to 0-3. Three points in a row from Stephen Bennett (2) and a fantastic point from Jamie Barron had Waterford just a point behind, 1-4 to 0-6 on the quarter hour.